Author Topic: Oxygenating Wort  (Read 2602 times)

Offline pmallory

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Oxygenating Wort
« on: November 14, 2010, 09:18:59 PM »
I feel that I have underestimated how important it is to oxygenate my wort and starters to achieve the best conditions for yeast. I am curious what methods have worked for other people. I have heard of a stir plate and am curious if they work well and whats the cheapest way to get one. I've also seen people just slosh their beer around in a carboy, or splashing your wort into the fermenter. Does anybody else have any suggestions for oxygenating wort for the fermenter or the starter?

Offline chezteth

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2010, 09:46:55 PM »
Oxygenating your wort is very important for fermentation.  Yeast growth requires oxygen for proper cell division.  I just slosh the wort in the carboy to aerate.  It seems to work well.  Others use pure oxygen for aerating.  I guess it, partially, comes down to personal preference.  Hope this helps.

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Offline rbclay

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2010, 10:57:02 PM »
It is relatively simple and not too expensive to properly oxygenate your starters and wort. Most LHBS' sell the adapter for the red O2 tanks. Like this : http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/fermenting-equipment/aeration/economy-oxygenation-kit-w-regulator-and-stone.html
You have to get the tanks at your local hardware store for $10.  For me that's worth it. A little red tank lasts probably 10 batches for me. I time the length I send O2 into my starters and wort. 30 seconds for starters, 2 minutes for 5G of wort. Not too scientific, but I have seen very good results and can repeat the same process each time. The next step up would be to get a bigger, refillable O2 tank and a regulator. Not worth it for me, but it would be cool!
For me I never bothered to try to aerate me wort. Yeast don't want just "air", they want oxygen. A stir plate would be cool also. I've seen plans that don't look too difficult to make. I have had good success with my "little" 500-800ml starters with no stir plate, just the occasional swirl by hand in  the 12 or so hours they are going.
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2010, 05:01:26 AM »
You have to get the tanks at your local hardware store for $10. 

*1 on the small red O2 tanks & a sintered stone. But no $10 refills for me, for a while anyway. One of the local Home Depots had a shopping cart full up by the front of the store..... on sale for a $1 each. Got me 6 of 'em. Happy day.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2010, 06:25:34 AM »
For me I never bothered to try to aerate me wort. Yeast don't want just "air", they want oxygen. A stir plate would be cool also.

Some strains of yeast require more O2 than others.  Sierra Nevada uses sterile filtered air as the O2 source.  More flocculant yeast usually require a higher dissolved O2 level, so you need an O2 tank and stone to get to the higher levels (this is covered in "Yeast").

Stir plates are ubercool. 
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2010, 07:13:23 AM »
I use a mix-stir rod that is attached to a drill motor.



This method incorporates O2 from the atmospherere into the wort. It's easy to use and produces good results.
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Offline Tim McManus

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 08:45:38 AM »
We use an O2 tank and stone.  It makes a considerable difference in the quality of your beer.

We also started using a stir plate.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/default/northern-brewer-stir-plate.html
http://www.northernbrewer.com/default/2000-ml-yeast-starter-kit.html

With a properly made starter we can get a krausen on the wort in about 6 hours.  The cost of the stir plate and the starter kit was about $100.  However, in the past we would make 2 gallons of starter for high gravity beers using 2# of DME.  Now we make 1.5L of starter with 1.5 cups of DME for the same high gravity batches.  It saves us approximately $20 per batch, so in the long run it's a really good thing.
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Offline denny

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2010, 08:59:32 AM »
I've used a MixStir for the last 10 years and it works great.  As far as I can tell when compared to friends who use an O2 system, I'd have to say the MixStir is as effective in the results it produces.  I recently started using a stir plate for starters and I immediately saw benefits form it.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2010, 11:50:32 AM »
Stir plate for starters, Mix Stir for normal batches, pure O2 through a sintered stone for big batches.
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Offline markaberrant

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2010, 09:58:57 PM »
Mix Stir for normal batches, pure O2 through a sintered stone for big batches.

Just curious, why the difference?  I use pure O2 for all batches, more for big 'uns.

Offline pyrite

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2010, 10:42:51 PM »
For all my brews I place the yeast starters on the stir plate.  Then as soon as I inoculate the wort with the yeast, I add a dose of  pure oxygen through a carb stone.  If it's a high gravity brew (9% - 12%) not only am I adding a high yeast count, but I come back twelve hours later and add some more pure oxygen through a carb stone.  

« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 10:50:51 PM by pyrite »
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Offline pmallory

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2010, 11:27:20 PM »
What is a MixStir?

Offline jeffy

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 05:09:08 AM »
What is a MixStir?
Bluesman has a photo of it about six posts up.
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Offline bluesssman

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2010, 10:02:32 AM »
For all my brews I place the yeast starters on the stir plate.  Then as soon as I inoculate the wort with the yeast, I add a dose of  pure oxygen through a carb stone.  

I too use a stir plate and I built an inline 02 aerator which goes between my chiller and the fermenter.

Offline tom

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Re: Oxygenating Wort
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2010, 11:05:49 AM »
Mix Stir for normal batches, pure O2 through a sintered stone for big batches.

Just curious, why the difference?  I use pure O2 for all batches, more for big 'uns.
Shaking the bejeesus out of a regular strength batch of ale is enough oxygenation for the yeast. For lagers and high gravity ales shaking with air won't get enough oxygen into solution for the yeast.
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